New Mexico picked a very bad time to have one of its worst shooting performances of the season on Saturday when #11 seed Washington thrashed New Mexico 82-64 in San Jose. The Lobos’ dismal 39.4% shooting day was capped by an atrocious 5-17 (29.4%) performance from 3-point land.
The Lobos also picked a very bad time to loose their composure defensively during the loss. There were several instances where you could see Darise Gary, Darrington Hobson and even Roman Martinez just being out-hustled and out-run by a determined Washington squad that ran, ran, RAN! But then again, who could blame them? A stark, raving mad lunatic couldn’t have kept up with the Huskies on Saturday.
That being said, Washington should be praised for having a great game plan in place that forced the Lobos to go on overdrive early and often. When the Lobos lost the ability to keep up with the Huskies mid-way through the first half, Washington (to their credit) didn’t let their feet off the gas pedal. As a result, Seattle should be proud of its Huskies!
New Mexico fans should also be proud of their Lobos for a whale of season, too! Saturday’s loss to the Huskies might sting for awhile but when you consider everything this team has accomplished, The Lobos, Steve Alford and his coaching staff ought to get a big pat on the back for getting 100% out of their talents this year.
Why? Well, when your team is picked to finish 5th in its conference and you have no one over 6’8″ on your team, you have to find ways to win. The 2009-2010 New Mexico Lobos did that and more.
They hustled. They never quit. They also played as a team. These traits helped the Lobos get about as much as you could have possibly gotten from a team that relied on speed and pluck to win. It also got them their second straight regular season Mountain West Conference crown, a 30 win season and some great national exposure.
You also have to remember that the the 2009-2010 New Mexico Lobos were a very young team. Roman Martinez is the only senior on this squad. As a result, this year’s NCAA tournament experience will be a great tool for Phillip McDonald , Darrington Hoboson (if he chooses to stay), Dairese Gary and everyone else.
Therefore, fans who follow New Mexico basketball on a regular basis ought to be proud of this bunch of over-achievers for bringing back this program’s swagger. Really proud.
Furthermore, most of these players will be back next season with a new cast of recruits who look very promising. As a result, New Mexico’s men’s basketball program has an awfully bright future ahead of them.
If you remember this, the 2010 NCAA’s won’t look so bad for the New Mexico Lobos, after all.
(The game data that were used for this article were graciously downloaded from the final box score of the game that is available at http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/. )
The Media Information Team of the University of New Mexico. “New Mexico Lobos’ 2009-2010 Official Roster.” orignally published online 11-10-2010. Retrieved online 3-21-10 from http://www.golobos.com/.